Introducing You To My Annupuri with Ski/Board Instructor Wataru-Sensei

December, 29th 2023

Wataru Kasai, originally from Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, is a ski and snowboard instructor at Niseko Annupuri Ski & Snowboard School (NASS). Although this is only his second year at NASS, he has been visiting Niseko from a young age with his family for skiing, long before Niseko became internationally renowned.

What is the best thing about Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area?

Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area offers courses that can be enjoyed by wide range of people, from beginners to advance. In particular, the ability to ski straight down from top to bottom, which is unique to Annupuri, is also attractive. Additionally, the gradually changing scenery as you descend is beautiful.

What is your favorite ski course and your off-piste course?

I enjoy using the full slope width from the Shirakaba course to the Paradise course. It feels refreshing and graceful, unique to Annupuri. For off-piste courses, G7 is my favorite. When it has snowed well, G7 isn’t too steep, and with good space between the trees, it’s a great course to really enjoy the powder snow.

※As a policy of the school, skiing through gates or in side-country areas during lessons is not permitted, so this comment is from the perspective of private skiing※

What is your favorite lift?

The Jumbo Quad Lift #1. It’s the lift I use the most, and I love the view from the quad in the morning, noon, and evening.

Have you got any tips for people to make the most out of the Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area?

I will recommend you trying the “two ultimate perfect runs”. Carve your own line on the beautifully groomed slopes first thing in the morning. Then, take the gondola once more to enjoy the powder on the course side-country, making the most of Annupuri’s terrain while savoring the crisp air, snow-capped trees, and the scenery.

Is there a secret or something not many people know about Niseko Annupuri International Ski Area?

Compared to other areas, the patrols are stricter, and if you duck under the ropes, you’ll likely be caught by patrol. The ropes are there for management reasons, so please follow the rules and enjoy the slopes.

What is the best place for grabbing snack and lunch?

For a short break, head to Bears Cafe right below where you get off the Jumbo Quad! Hot chocolate and lattes will warm up your chilled body. The owner is very happy & smiley.

For lunch, the newly renovated Nook Annupuri this season is a must-see. Be sure to enjoy this symbolic restaurant of Annupuri.  If you avoid the popular times, you can enjoy a more relaxing time there.

Lastly, is there anything you’re looking forward to this winter?

It’s the scenery of everyday fleeting moments. The contrast between snow and light, the heavy unique snowfall of Niseko – the views produced by nature are mystical, and because no two scenes are ever the same, I look forward to it every year.




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